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Creating An Old Fashioned Record Player

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Creating An Old Fashioned Record Player

A Creative COW 3ds Max tutorial

Creating An Old Fashioned Record Player

Gary Smith Gary Smith
http://www.vladdracworld.com
Louisville, Kentucky

©2004 by Gary Smith and CreativeCOW.net. All rights are reserved.


Article Focus:
In this tutorial, Gary Smith demonstrates modeling an old fashioned record player like the RCA logo using a technique called 'loft'.

What we are going to do is model a basic old fashioned record player. Sort of looking like the one RCA had as it's logo. How I am going to approach this is by using a technique called 'loft'

Before we get into that, lets start making the basic shape of one. It helps to search for a picture of one somewhere, so you can kind of get an idea of what it looks like

What I am going to do first is design a decent enough wooden base for the player.

Start with a box, and what you are going to do is turn it into an editable poly. Do this simply by going to modifier, and right clicking on the box and there will be a selction under change to:

Now below that you will notice that there are tiny icons with dots, lines and planes. click the one that looks like this .

Once that is done go ahead and select one of the sides of your box (not top nor bottom) till it turns red. You have now selected the whole polygon, which in this case is a whole side. While holding down CTRL go ahead and click the other 3 sides, until all 4 sides are selected red

Now under the section Edit Polygons, in the same menu, hit the square box to the right of inset. make the inset amount something reasonable, we are going to extrude this in a little. I used 3.0 on mine. Ensure that the type is by polygon, then click OK

Once done you are going to hit the box to the right of extrude, and use about 1-2 for the amount there. We don't want it to be too much. Yours should look something like my example.





Now we are going to do the record and turntable

first the turntable. I have noticed that most old style record player turntables are smaller than the actual standard records.

You are going to go to splines and create a circle. So you do not have to do a whole bunch of rotating and positioning, I recommend that you do this from your top viewport.

Now go to MODIFIERS->MESH EDITING->EXTRUDE

Give it a decent enough elevation so when you place the record on it, it will have some elevation. I used 3.0 for mine. Go ahead and position it on the top of the record player in the center

Now for the record, create another circle spline larger than that of the turntable, and thinner that the turntable, I used about .5 for my record. Now lets make a label for the record.

Create another circle, about the size of a record label. Now when you extrude it, make the amount 0.0, it is after all just a lable, and this method will make the circle renderable. Then go ahead and position it where it needs to go. See Example





Now lets work on the needle. I am not going to get too complicated with this, so if you have any better ideas go for it.

First things first, lets make the head that holds the needle above the record.

make a semi-fat, skinny cylindar. I used a radius of 5 with a height of 1.5

Now go to MODIFIERS->PARAMETRIC DEFORMERS->SQUEEZE and adjust the amount of radial squeeze till you get a nice half curved surface, I used about a -0.15. I kept some of it a flat surface, and you will see why in a minute

click back on the cylindar just under your modifier list, and raise the sides to about 60 to make it more smooth

Now on your top bar click on this icon

now on the window that pops up change the mirror axis to Y, and the selection to copy

Now as you hold down CTRL, select the other half

Now go to GROUP->ASSEMBLY->ASSEMBLE This will make it one object, it should look something like my example





Position the head just over the record (leave enough space for a needle) and somewhere near a corner of the record player

create an elbow like line from the center of the head to the corner of the player. see example





don't worry about the position of the line yet, we can move it later.

Now go to your task pane on the right and select the modify tab. select line, and collapse the rendering menu. Check the RENDERABLE box and also the DISPLAY RENDER MESH box

Now under that same menu adjust the thickness so that it will fit right at the flat part of the head. You also want to add more sides to make it really smooth. Then go ahead and position it where it needs to be. See example





Now in our top viewport, create a Chamfer Cylindar (extended primitaves).

See the example for the parameters that I used, and where it should go. Keep in mind to raise the sides to give it a smoother feel to it





While we are at it, lets go ahead and add some sides to the record and turn table, because the are looking pretty polygonal.

Now create a cone for the needle, see the example for the radius and height that I used, you may have to scale it down afterwards to make it fit in well with the rest of the image, and just position it where you thing it should go best





Ok now we are going to start getting into creating lofts. There are numorous ways of creating objects using this technique, and it is very simple to do.

First lets make a line that curves in two places, about the length of a crankshaft. Now create a circle that will be the diameter of the crankshaft, and a circle that is slightly larger than that one. Look at my example





Now select the line that you created, and go to CREATE->COMPOUND->LOFT

In the side menu click on the Get Shape button, and then move your cursor over the smaller of the two circles, and click. You will notice that the whole line gained some thickness

If your circle is to thick just undo, and make a smaller circle

Ok now on the path parameters move the path up. Here you will notice an X moving up and down the shape of the like. This is where the next instance of the object you select will be created. So move it pretty close to the end, but not exactly at the very end. Now click on get shape, and click on the same small circle again.

Now move the path to the very end and get the shape of the larger circle.

Go ahead and place that handle where you think it should go

Now we are going to make a wooden handle for the crank shaft

Now what I did for that is just used a capsule from extended primitives, and scaled it so that it fits snuggly into the end of my crankshaft. Here is my example





Now final thing we need to model is the old fashioned speaker cone. We will do this by using loft once again

First thing we are going to create a curved line that will follow a path for the speaker. I will leave this up to you how you would like to do it.

Now create a small circle for the base, an 6 sided (default) Ngon that is slightly larger, another Ngon that is of medium size, and a medium circle for the end. The lines should look similiar to the example





at the base, use the small circle for your get shape function, then about halfway use the smaller hexagon. Near the end use the larger hexagon, and at the very end use the larger circle. You should have a decent looking speaker.

Now under skin parameters, uncheck Cap End

You are probably going to start running into problems here.

When you look outside the speaker, everything seems fine, but inside you can see right through the thing like it isn't even there

Put a checkmark on the Flip Normals button under skin parameters

Now it won't look right on the outside, don't worry about this, we will set up the render options so that it will look normal when it comes to render

So go to render, and under the common tab, under options, check mark the force 2 sided box, now it will render properly

Go ahead and place it where you think it should go. You may also want to rotate the speaker so it isn't so straight, and sits on an angle. See my finished modeling example





Now lets move on to materials

Ok, I did a little revision on this one, and deleted the label for the record entirely and just found a picture of a record.

In your material editor, click the box that is right beside the diffuse color box. then click the bitmap icon, and use the image that you have for a record. Mine fit perfectly, but you may have to adjust the sizing on it yourself.

On all these materials we are just going to get basic textures and colors, then we will deal with reflections and shading

Now for the base, select the whole base and just add a default wood bmp in the material library, and apply

select all the sides just as you did when you applyed the inset and extrude.(do this simply by going to modify, and click the polygon button, then all sides should be already selected) What we are going to do here is add a mesh like texture to it.

What I did was found a nice straw weave pattern, cropped it, and made it a seamless tile

now go to a new material and apply this effect the same way as you did the record, you will definately need to adjust the tiling on this one to make it look smaller and more detailed. Simply do this by going to coordinates on the map, and adjusting the tiling. Now go ahead and apply the material to the selected sides. Do a quick test redender to see if it turned out the way you want it, and adjust accordingly

Just make a simple dark grey color to the turntable

I used another lighter default wood map for my crank handle

Now we are going to get into some render killing materials so be sure everything is how you want it before you move on

Now select all the objects in the needle mechanism, except the needle itself, and also the crank shaft. Do this by holding CTRL

We are going to give these elements all the same material, which I am going to make a very shiny reflective chrome color

I used Anisotropic parameter. I set the diffuse color to a dark grey. I set the specular level to 150, and as the reflection map under maps, I used tad a raytrace map. Result was a very decent chrome looking material

just add a normal grey diffuse color to the actual needle

Now lets do the speaker.

The parameter is Anisotropic

for the diffuse color I used a golden color, specular set at 400, and glossiness set at 45.

I used raytrace map for reflection. Turn off self reflect, or it will look terrible inside the speaker.

now where it says background, check where it says bitmap and add an image off a room for it to reflect that, which will give it a nice brass feel to it

add some raytrace reflection to the record. You may want to exclude the speaker from that under the local exclude button, becuase your label on the record will reflect as well

ok, it is just going to take some trial and error to setup your materials how you want it. I suggest that you try all kinds of possibilities, because it is easy to get familiar with them

lastly add a few lights, that cast shadows, position your camera and render.

Here is my final image





Well this isn't probably the best described tutorial I have ever done, but I hope you got some use out of it.

Please feel free to post any comments and suggestions to improve the tutorial

enjoy, and thank you

--vladdrac

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